Operation Ganga: India Finalizes New Ukraine-Romania Route To Evacuate Citizens

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By: Ayanangsha Maitra
Updated: 04 March, 2022 11:28 am IST
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi (File photo)

NEW DELHI: A new route has been finalized for the evacuation of Indian citizens stranded in Ukraine via Romania. Two flights will be operated from Suceava city, which is situated near Romania’s border with Ukraine during the next 24 hours, the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed on Thursday.

The newly-identified route will facilitate the smooth passage of Indian citizens to Romania and do away with the need for the citizens to travel to Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia.

The government of India has stepped up its efforts to bring back more Indians safely amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“During the next 24 hours, 18 flights have been scheduled under Operation Ganga. Three of these would be the Indian Air Force’s C-17 Globemasters, and other commercial flights by Air India, Indigo, and GoAir. Seven flights will fly from Bucharest, five from Budapest, three from Rzeszow in Poland, and one from Košice in the Slovak Republic,” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

India has held discussions with Poland for a smooth and safe entry of Indian nationals from Ukraine into its territory. “And the movement is smooth as well as steady,” Bagchi said.

“I am happy that some progress is accelerating,” he further said.

All the private airlines will be paid by the government of India and no evacuee is being charged, a source in The Ministry of External Affairs told The New Indian.

A total of 18,000 Indians have left Ukraine since the Embassy of India in Kyiv issued its first advisory in view of the conflict.

In the next two-three days, a large number of Indians are expected to return to their homes. Indian embassies are in coordination with the host government and local authorities are arranging food and shelters.

About 1000 Indian students are stranded in the nearby Ukrainian city of Pisochyn. Many Indians are believed to be still present in towns near Kharkiv which is under heavy attack of Russian troops.

India, however, will not close its embassy in Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine “at the moment”, the ministry has said. India is in a process of shifting staff towards the war-struck eastern parts of Ukraine to help fast evacuation of Indians.

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